Simply put, content marketing is marketing that utilizes words to engage, acquire and retain customers. At its best, content marketing is a powerful tool that helps companies realize great profits. Here’s the scoop on content marketing, and how to tell if your company’s content is active or lazy:
Content Marketing Then and Now
Though the concept wasn’t given its name until the late 1990’s, content marketing has been around since our forefathers and mothers drove the horse and buggy into town to make their household purchases at the general store. Back in 1904, Jell-O showed us an example of successful content marketing when their salesmen went door-to-door distributing free cookbooks containing lots of fun Jell-O recipes. The cookbook sparked interest in the product, and as a result Jell-O sales quickly rose to over a million dollars. Way to go, Jell-O!
Fast forward about 100 years, and content marketing experts are pointing to the 2014 LEGO Movie as a brilliant example of content marketing. Rather than paying for television ads that are easily skipped with DVR capabilities, LEGO made a movie featuring fun LEGO characters in a LEGO-made environment. Any guesses which toy those young movie viewers put on their wish-lists at their lego themed birthday parties after watching the movie? Cha-ching! And we can’t wait for the sequel!
Is Your Content Active or Lazy?
If you own a small to midsize company, then you have probably created content in an attempt to market your products and services. You may have content on a website, in a newsletter, flier, or blog series, or in various forms of social media. So how does your content measure up? Is it active, or lazy? To contrast with the Jell-O and Lego content marketing success stories, here is a paragraph of lazy content from a fictitious company (because we wouldn’t want to hurt a real company’s feelings!) that is much less effective, but far more common:
Pat’s Paint has been offering house painting services for many years. During that time, owners Pat and Patty Patterson have worked with many satisfied customers by providing them with good services and affordable prices. Call Pat’s Paint today for a free painting estimate.
Did you get through all three sentences without dozing off? The paragraph about Pat’s Paint is lazy because it doesn’t inspire readers to take action. What if Jell-O had gone with a lazy content marketing strategy Pat’s Paint style? Instead of a cookbook, they would have gone door-to-door delivering an advertisement that said something like this:
Jell-O is a food that people have been eating for many years. People eat Jell-O because it tastes good and comes conveniently packaged inside a small cardboard box. You will need to mix it with water and then chill before eating.
A dry description of your products or services is NOT content marketing! Effective content marketing creates interest and promotes action. It can be directly or indirectly related to your company, as long as it aligns with your company values and serves a purpose.
Is your company’s content sitting lazily on the page taking up space, or does it actively engage, acquire and retain customers? If your content reads more like Pat’s Paint than a Jell-O cookbook or The LEGO Movie, then give it a content makeover. WordsFound will act as your content’s personal trainer, whipping it into shape so that is is energized, active, and working to drive the business.